Bev Hurley named on shortlist of national awards

The shortlist for the 2011 First Women Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, features some of Britain’s most dynamic women who are breaking new ground across a range of industries.

Bev is one of the UK’s leading experts on growing sustainable and successful women-owned businesses. Prior to being appointed Chief Executive of YTKO Group, she started and grew three successful companies, and brings to the industry a wealth of first hand experience about what is really needed to unlock the growth potential of female entrepreneurship. Under her leadership, YTKO Group has seen strong year on year growth, and the creation of new offices in Leeds, Truro, Plymouth, Torbay, Bristol, Norwich and France. The company now employs over 85 people, and was awarded the prestigious Prowess Flagship of Flagships award for excellence in women’s enterprise support.

This year’s shortlist includes Sam Smith, CEO of finnCap the only female chief executive in the City of London’s investment banking community; Jean Llewellyn, the most senior woman in the UK nuclear industry; Juliet Davenport, chief executive of the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier, Good Energy; and Former Masterchef winner and founder of Wahaca restaurants Thomasina Miers.

The list also includes nominees from companies as diverse as Freshfields, Pathaks, McDonald’s, Imperial College and Quantum Pharmaceutical.

Now in their seventh year, the First Women Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, recognise pioneering women across business and professional life, who are leading the way for the next generation. The awards were created, and are hosted, by Real Business and the CBI.

Helen Alexander, the first female president of the CBI, said: “On being appointed CBI president in 2009, I was proud to become a champion of the First Women Awards. I have genuinely been struck by the impact of the awards right across the UK. The 2011 shortlists are some of the strongest yet, showing how talented women are shaping the future of many of our most significant organisations.”

Diana Brightmore-Armour, CEO of Corporate Banking at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, said: “The Lord Davies’ report issued earlier this year has really put the spotlight on women in business and further evidenced the contribution women can make in UK boardrooms.

“The calibre of the 2011 First Women Awards shortlist proves that Britain has a sensational pool of successful female business leaders who are not only pushing the boundaries of achievement but who are also inspiring other women”

Over the past six years, awards have been presented to Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins DBE; fashion designer Nicole Farhi CBE; and Baroness Hogg, the then only female chairman of a FTSE 100 business. The awards have also championed the achievements of trailblazing women in public, industrial and media sectors, including: Caroline Shaw, chief executive of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust; entrepreneur-author Annabel Karmel MBE; and the UK’s first female managing director of a commercial vehicle manufacturer, Nikki King OBE.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 30 at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London.

Supporters of the First Women Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets include: BAE Systems; BT, ICAEW; Rolls-Royce; Harvey Nash; the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Benenden Healthcare Society; Land Rover, and Centrica.